The Oakland Raiders had once shined in the NFL because of the loyalty of its players to head coaches like Al Davis, Tom Flores, John Madden and Jon Gruden. However, with the firing of head coach Tom Cable , who was able to turn this team around alongside Hue Jackson last season, the Oakland Raiders, well Al Davis may have shot himself in the foot.
After Tom Cables firing, punter Shane Lechler became pretty vocal, explaining that the team had worked hard as a unit and Tom Cables hard nosed attitude simply brought out the best in his players. The firing however sent out a message to the Oakland Raiders players that Al Davis himself was not loyal to the teams improvement. In fact, at the most critical point for the team, with a positive attitude and with a team that was pretty much complete, Al Davis decided it was time to fire Tom Cable.
The results of that firing has led to the possible losses of punter Shane Lechler. Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who is simply the best DB in the NFL, has been quiet until this morning on ESPNs "First Talk". Although he expressed his desire to stay out of the free agency frenzy, Asomugha knows his value and has been loyal to the Raiders. Yet, the firing of Cable may haunt him and the Raiders could lose Asomugha .
There's is even word that the Oakland Raiders rival San Diego Chargers are interested in the "true" shut down corner. The Oakland Raiders play the Chargers twice and Asomugha will be a factor if the Raiders lose Asomugha.
In order for the Raiders to improve in 2011, the positions at wide receiver need to be addressed. Will Darius Heyward Bey be a Raider in 2011?
Next is the loss of the improved and experience offensive lineman Robert Gallery. Robert Gallery was once considered a bust but he has turned around and has been vocal about the firing of Cable
At this point, punter Shane Lechler (who is still under contract but may not resign when the contract expires) and Robert Gallery are among the Oakland players who will no longer consider re-signing with the Raiders.
In all fairness, Robert Gallery is expendable as he is not the best at his position. Gallery has definitely improved and Darren McFadden rushing yards attest to his blocking. But overall the Oakland Raiders can find a better lineman at this position.
Although all three players have expressed there feeling towards the firing, losing Nnamdi Asomugha would be a huge blow to Al Davis. Does Al Davis remember the expression" Commitment to Excellence?" How about a commitment to keep the best players on the side of Silver and Black. How about showing some loyalty to a team that turned around and became contenders for Tom Cable.
If you look at Tom Cables previous QBs you can understand the losses. So-called QB JaMarcus Russell was an Al Davis experiment that exploded in his face and also cost him millions.
So what can the Oakland Raiders do to bring back the heart of the "loyal " fans, who at this point are in a purgatory over who will be the next head coach, punter, OL and possibly running back should the Raiders lose Michael Bush who is also up for free agency.
Michael Bush brings power house running as he compliments Darren McFadden. losing Bush will be another sock in the mouth to Al. In fact, every player that decides to leave the Oakland Raiders because of free agency is likely due to Al Davis non-commitment to a team that worked as a unit. By removing the "King", well, it was a checkmate that will cost Al Davis the game in the long run.
The Oakland Raiders found themselves in a huge "Black Hole" after Al Davis released Jon Gruden. What was the cost then? A Superbowl embarrassment in front of millions. The years prior the team was on the verge of having back to back Superbowls. But in the end, it was former coach Jon Gruden that pounded the Oakland Raiders mercilessly, his former coach took out stellar players like Tim Brown , Jerry Rice, and Charlie Garner.
A Superbowl team starts with a loyalty to the head coach. The Oakland Raiders had finally made it to the turning point in 2010, then Al Davis decided to steer the team himself.
At this point, the Raiders need to get Hue Jackson on board and hope that the team doesn't lose another star in Richard Seymour.In fact that should be move number one, retain Richard Seymour. Second is, if the Raiders hire Hue Jackson, then give him at least four years with a decent QB.
The Oakland Raiders seems to like rebuilding and it only prolongs a Superbowl title for the once juggernaut of the 60's, 70's and 80's. The loyalty seems to always remain in the Raidernation but as mentioned earlier, the loyalty to a team, in which the owner has hired six head coached in a decade is pretty hard to swallow.
The Oakland Raiders dominated the AFC West this season with the players it had in 2010. Will the replacements have a better season in 2011 under a new coach? As a fan I would love to say yes. But as an onlooker I can only hope the Oakland Raiders can replace the vacancies with players that are equal or better than their predecessors.
It's pretty obvious that the 2011 Raiders will be a new team under a new coach and for the sake of the Silver and Black let hope that they improve enough to be a playoff caliber team and defeat tough opponents like the Steelers and Colts.
Al Davis fired Tom Cable and although many are disappointed with that decision ( such as myself and the in and out coaching madness) it can only go two ways, up or down. The Oakland Raiders have been down for sometime until the 2010 season. Lets hope that the good news will start pouring in for the Raiders as we near the free agency and next season.As for Tom Cable. Thanks for a great season Tom.